The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen

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Hugo Whittier–failed poet and former kept man–is a wily misanthrope with a taste for whiskey, women, and his own cooking. Afflicted with a rare disease that will be fatal unless he quits smoking, Hugo retreats to his once aristocratic family’s dilapidated mansion, determined to smoke himself to death without forfeiting any of his pleasures. To his chagrin, the world that he has forsaken is not quite finished with him. First, his sanctimonious older brother moves in, closely followed by his estranged wife, their alleged daughter, and his gay uncle. Infuriated at the violation of his sanctum, Hugo devises hilariously perverse ploys to send the intruders packing. Yet the unexpected consequences of his schemes keep forcing him to reconsider, however fleetingly, the more wholesome ingredients of love, and life itself.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Kate Christensen's Blue Plate Special.

About Kate Christensen

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KATE CHRISTENSEN is the author of six previous novels, most recently The Astral. The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has written reviews and essays for numerous publications, most recently The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Tin House, Elle, and Open City. She also has a new column in The Wall Street Journal, "With a Twist." Her blog can be accessed at:

Author Residence: Portland, Maine

Author Hometown: California
Published July 29, 2009 by Anchor. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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